Together until the end: the conjoined twins who refused to separate.

It is said that twins have a connection like no other, but for Mary and Margarett Gibbs, that unbreakable connection was both literal and figurative. 

Born in 1912, and joined by bone and flesh just above the buttocks, the twins were physically connected for their entire lives. But with separate organs except for the rectum, neither felt the other's pain.

Watch: the woman who is pregnant with two babies, who are not twins. Post continues below.

Video via Good Morning America.

One body, two minds. 

According to reports, the pair's personalities were like chalk and cheese. Their mother reportedly described Mary as overweight, easygoing and carefree, while Margaret was thin, high-strung, and always worried about health and finances. 

They were raised in relative isolation, their parents hiring private tutors to educate them within the safety of their home.

Independent but together.

At 14, the girls ventured out on their own, moving to New York City with plans to pursue a career in vaudeville – a theatrical genre of French origin, that includes speciality acts and comedic entertainment. 

They began performing in circuses, capitlising on their unique physical condition – something they not only accepted, but learned to love. 


Image: Getty

They earned their first pay cheque at 16 after performing a song-and-dance act in America, which proved a success, eventually moving their act to Europe, and ultimately forging a career touring in circuses. 

The Gibb twins remained in the public eye throughout the 1930s as vaudeville and circus stars. Together they travelled with the Barnum and Cole Brothers Circuses as "America's Siamese Twins", appearing in Paris, Germany and Switzerland and the United States.


A global phenomenon.

Mary and Margaret Gibbs attracted the attention of the world, not only for their unique performances, but for their apparent determination to remain together, despite advancing medical techniques.   

Speculation about their potential separation was ongoing but peaked on two occasions during their lives. 

The first was when Mary became sick with influenza, prompting discussion about the impact of one's physical health over the other, particularly as the pair had mostly separate organs. 

The media honed back in on the pair when Margaret fell in love, publicly announcing her lover as Carlos Daniel Josefe, a man she met while performing in New Orleans. The couple applied for a marriage license, but the wedding did not eventuate. 

It was rumoured that prominent surgeon Dr Francis Weston would operate to separate the twins, but ultimately, this didn't take place either.

Image: Getty


Together until the end.

In 1942 Mary and Margaret Gibbs retired from life as performers, returning to Holyoke to open the Mary-Margaret Gift Shoppe. 

The store sold cards, novelties, vases and baby clothes that the twins made themselves. 

The venture was a success remaining open for the next seven years, until Mary and Margaret retreated from public life entirely. 

Following the store's closure, the twins lived together, as borderline recluses, and were rarely seen outside their home. Occasionally they were seen travelling to and from church. According to reports, they spend their time knitting and watching television.

Image: Getty


In 1966, Margaret was diagnosed with aggressive bladder cancer. According to reports, the sisters refused medical intervention to separate them, despite being told the cancer would likely kill Margaret, and subsequently, Mary as well. 

Over the next year, the cancer spread to Margaret's lungs, but the sisters continued to refuse to be separated. 

On August 29, 1967, Margaret lost her battle and passed away. Mary died two minutes later. They were 55. 

They had requested that they not be separated even after death. With their wishes front of mind, the duo was buried in a special coffin in the state in which they had lived and died.

Feature Image: X/@HistoricVids

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